Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) refers to the emotional and physical symptoms that women experience 1-2 weeks before their period, such as headaches, bloating, mood swings, depression etc. According to a study in 2016, 85% of women suffer from either one or more of PMS symptoms. Fortunately, PMS can be treated with medication and certain lifestyle changes that can help women cope with emotional distress and physical difficulties.
The following options will aid in stabilising various PMS symptoms so buckle up!
Exercise: - Contrary to what we have heard growing up, exercise actually helps in reducing the PMS symptoms. One study suggests that 30 mins of aerobic exercise (cycling, jogging, dancing etc.) three times a week can ease the feelings of sadness, irritability and anxiety.
Small, frequent meals: - It is advised to avoid eating 1-3 large meals particularly, high in carbohydrates which may cause blood sugar swings. Hence, try to eat 5-6 small meals in a day to keep blood sugar level steady.
Replace junk food with fruits: - Eating junk food with large amounts of sugar can disturb the blood sugar level in the body which may cause all sorts of mood swings. Therefore, cut down on junk food and replace it with fruits which will help keep blood sugar level stable and reduce bloating.
Get 8 hours of sleep: - To counter hormonal changes messing with energy levels, it is necessary to establish a healthy sleeping pattern and get sleep for 8 hours maximum. It will help restore energy and fix muscle related soreness.
Hot bath: - A long, hot bath will reduce PMS-related cramps and tensions. Moreover, adding salt in the bath provides relief as magnesium will relax sore muscles.
Magnesium rich foods: - Almonds and other magnesium rich foods, such as spinach reduce cramps and tension level.
Learn to manage stress: - There is a direct link between stress and PMS symptoms. Hence, try managing stress levels by yoga, meditation or massages. YouTube is your saviour, use it.
Find a hobby: - Find a hobby that you actually like such as reading, painting, cross-stitching, cooking etc. Try to make time for it every day for at least 30 mins. It will help you relax, de-stress and divert your mind from discomfort arising from PMS symptoms.
Take supplements: - Calcium levels fluctuate during menstrual cycle. Moreover, a clinical trial conducted in 2017 shows that calcium supplements help reduce symptoms like bloating, fatigue, mood swings and anxiety.
Track your symptoms using an app: - It is suggested that one should keep track of their menstrual cycle and different mood swings they encounter during it. It is easier to do so by downloading period-tracking apps. It helps in confirming that current mood swings are indeed related to their cycle. Furthermore, increasing the symptoms are not manageable at home one has a detailed log to show to their doctor.
Women don’t have to live with the emotional and physical turmoil that PMS symptoms can bring. Instead, they should work on adopting certain lifestyle changes which will not only help with PMS but also make them healthy and happy. It all starts with you!